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Home / NEWS & MEDIA / One Way to Help Enhance Labor Efficiency
By Jeff Sarchet, DVM, Beef Technical Services, Zoetis
There are many things that can cut into the profitability and satisfaction of a beef cattle operation. Employees are a big expense as well as an investment. Medication costs for treating diseases like bovine respiratory disease (BRD) can be another big and variable expense.
Did you know that these expenditures can have a direct correlation to each other? Antibiotic costs are directly related to efficacy, or the number of re-treatments needed after the initial BRD treatment. More BRD re-treatments means your employees spend more time pulling and re-treating cattle and less time improving other areas of the operation. By using a less effective antibiotic, you’re paying for more BRD treatments and getting decreased employee and cattle productivity.
So, how do you keep both BRD treatment costs and labor expenses more manageable?
Trying to cut your BRD treatment costs with a cheaper antibiotic looks like a good option on the surface, but might not be the best for your bottom line or your operation. Not all antibiotics have the same efficacy, which was demonstrated in a recently published analysis of BRD treatment studies.1 In fact, the studies found that some antibiotics are only half as effective as other options for treating BRD. Many antibiotics that are cheaper have been shown to be less effective, which leads to more cattle re-treats and higher medication and labor costs. Here’s how this scenario looks in the long run:
When managing BRD, the initial cost of your antibiotic should be a less important factor than the efficacy of that antibiotic because of the impact on re-treatments needed. For example:
For more on this topic: This video helps explain the benefits of more first-treatment success when treating BRD, this article looks at ways to ensure your BRD treatment has a chance to be successful and this BRD Cost Calculator helps estimate all your costs of treating and controlling BRD. More expert advice, articles, videos and study summaries from veterinarians and producers are available at BRD-Solutions.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: DRAXXIN has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 18 days in cattle. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Do not use in animals known to be hypersensitive to the product. See full Prescribing Information.
About the author Dr. Jeff Sarchet has been with Zoetis since 2013 and is a senior veterinarian supporting sales colleagues in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas and a contributing marketing liaison for cattle biologicals. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Oklahoma State University in 1985. After graduating from veterinary school, he served as a feedlot veterinarian for Bartlett Cattle Company in the Texas panhandle and then become the owner of a mixed-animal practice, Hugoton Veterinary Clinic in Hugoton, Kansas, where he specialized in cow/calf, stocker and feedyard consulting for 21 years. In 2009, he became a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in beef cattle practice and currently serves on the ABVP board as the beef regent. He earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Iowa in 2012, and in 2014 became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. Dr. Sarchet grew up on a farm and cattle operation in the Oklahoma panhandle and now resides in Decatur, Texas.
About Zoetis Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2017, the company generated annual revenue of $5.3 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetisUS.com.
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References:*According to a meta-analysis,1 Micotil® has a relative risk of re-treatment of 1.87,† Zuprevo® is 1.95† and Zactran® is 1.88† compared with 1.00† for DRAXXIN. Value assumes a re-treatment rate of 36% and a 10-hour work day. †Not based on clinical outcomes1 O’Connor AM, Yuan C, Cullen JN, Coetzee JK, da Silva N, Wang C. A mixed treatment meta-analysis of antibiotic treatment options for bovine respiratory disease — An update. Prev Vet Med. 2016;132:130-139.2 Towers Perrin Global Workforce Study 2007-2008. Stamford, CT: Towers Perrin; 2007.
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